Clostridial Gas Gangrene Medication

Updated: Feb 01, 2023
  • Author: Shahab Qureshi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.



Class Summary

Penicillin is the preferred drug for clostridial infections. Patients allergic to penicillin may be treated with clindamycin or chloramphenicol.

Penicillin G (Pfizerpen)

Interferes with synthesis of cell wall mucopeptide during active multiplication, resulting in bactericidal activity against susceptible microorganisms.

Clindamycin (Cleocin)

Lincosamide for treatment of serious skin and soft tissue staphylococcal infections. Also effective against aerobic and anaerobic streptococci (except enterococci). Inhibits bacterial growth, possibly by blocking dissociation of peptidyl tRNA from ribosomes, causing RNA-dependent protein synthesis to arrest.

Piperacillin/tazobactam (Zosyn)

Beta-lactamase inhibitor indicated in gynecologic infections, intra-abdominal infections, and skin and skin structure infections, including diabetic foot infections.

Metronidazole (Flagyl, Metro)

Exact mechanism of action not fully elucidated. Disrupts DNA and inhibits nucleic acid synthesis.

FDA approved for the treatment of anaerobic infections: intra-abdominal infections, skin and skin-structure infections, and bone and joint infections.


Inhibits bacterial protein synthesis. May also cause alterations in the cytoplasmic membrane. Bacteriostatic antibiotic.

Alternative in PCN-allergic patients. 


Inhibits protein synthesis by binding to 50S ribosomal subunits, preventing amino acids from being transferred to the growing peptide chains, which in turn inhibits protein synthesis.

Use in serious infections for which less potentially dangerous drugs are ineffective or contraindicated.